Piano and guitar - songwriter

When Pretending Helps You Through a Creative Block

“Hooks and Riffs: How They Grab Attention, Make Songs Memorable, and Build Your Fan Base” shows you how a good hook can make the difference between songwriting success and failure. With great examples from pop music history. Trying to sound like your musical hero is a great way to blast through a bad case of writer’s […]

Guitarist on Stage

Some Thoughts on Songwriting and Uniqueness

This morning I retweeted a great article by producer/engineer Bobby Owsinski, “It’s Getting Harder And Harder To Write A Song Without Committing Plagiarism.” The article makes the point that because the judicial system now considers similarity of the basic feel of a song to be considered in a plagiarism case, along with melody and lyrics, […]

copyright issues in songwriting

Using Copyright-Protected Music In Your Own Music: How To Do It

I’m occasionally contacted by songwriters with questions surrounding the issue of copyright. Probably the most common question I’m asked is if there is any way to use part of another pre-existing song as a starting point for a new one. If you’re interested in using a bit of recognizable lyric or a short snippet of […]

Piano keyboard and guitar

Tips for Songwriters: Avoiding Accidental Plagiarism

Given the few notes within an octave and the millions of songs that have been written using them, accidental plagiarism is a constant companion for most songwriters. Every time you come up with a great songwriting idea — especially something that you really like — you’re immediately wondering if you’ve stolen the idea from an […]

Songwriting Inspiration

Being Guided and Influenced By Other Songs… a Slippery Slope?

When you’re writing a song, one of the best supplies of musical inspiration is your own work! As you come up with new ideas, you get excited and that excitement helps you create even more ideas. That’s normal, and the excitement you feel is what we’d otherwise call inspiration. It’s the worst-kept secret in the songwriting world […]

Singer - Songwriter

On Being Influenced by Other Songwriters

Originality is everything in songwriting. Every time you sit down to write, you obviously need to be writing something that no one else has written before. It’s that need for originality that causes a kind of fear in some songwriters: the fear of accidentally plagiarizing someone’s song. In particular, some songwriters are afraid to spend […]